Showing posts from November, 2007

My Take on "The Golden Compass" Issue

Yes I got the e-mail, too. I believe you got it also. I am talking about the warning circulated through the Internet about “The Golden Compass” movie based on the first of a bestselling, multi-awarded trilogy of books by Philip Pullman, an avowed atheist. Allegedly, this movie is about kids, the lead characters in the movie, who killed God. Other than having Nicole Kidman as one of the stars in the movie, this religious controversy is a surefire way of turning it into a runaway box-office hit. Is this true? Or is this just part of a slick ad campaign? [My conspiracy ‘spider-sense’ is tingling] According to BreakPoint (a commentary on issues based on Biblical worldview), “the girl and the boy at the center of the story do not kill God, though they are present when a being calling himself God is killed.” (Nov. 26, 2007) That being turns out to be an angel who claimed to be God. However, BreakPoint warns, “the part about Pullman hating the idea of God is completely accurate. He uses his …

Defend the Faith

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV)

There’s no doubt about it. Our Christian faith is under attack. In just a short span of time, we have faced bestsellers from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (who wrote that “almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false”) to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion (who wrote that “when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion”). What do we do? Ignore it and wait for it to blow over like the proverbial ostrich’s head in the sand? But there is no sign of waning. Instead the attacks are intensifying. What we can do is make the most of the opportunity. “Opportunity?” you may be asking incredulously. Well, thanks to Brown, Dawkins and other skeptics who are churning out these attacks, sales o…

Erap’s Pardon is Cheap Grace

Official Statement of the Institute for Studies
in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC)

On the surface, granting former President Joseph Estrada executive clemency may seem like an act of compassion. In reality, it is cheap grace.A pardon is an act of grace. It is a concept borrowed by jurisprudence from the biblical idea of ‘unmerited favor,’ meaning that the offender is spared the penalty for ‘sin’ or breaking the law, not because of any merit in him nor of any circumstance that might lighten his case, but because the punishment has been paid for in his behalf by someone else – the Son of God himself. For God to forgive, his own son had to be sent to the cross.
The demands of justice had to be met before God could pardon our sins. Because he is just, he did not seek reconciliation by simply sweeping things under the rug. He did not issue a general amnesty and bury our guilt and grievances under a show of bonhomie. Instead, in his mercy he stripped himself of immunity, took upon…

Pray for my son Jessey


Please pray for my 10-year-old son, Jessey Cortez, who will be competing in the World Youth Scrabble Championship on December 3-6, 2007 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia(See under "Philippines":

He will also compete Causeway Scrabble Challenge on November 30-December 2, 2007 (which will take place in the same venue).

Last Sunday, I personally witnessed a scrabble competition in SM North (Jessey was the youngest player in that tournament). Just imagine they played 8 games! On a single day! In Malaysia, they will be playing 22 games in three days. The mental and physical demands must be that great!

"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men." Proverbs 22:29, NIV

Please pray for the preparation and provision for these tournaments. Thank you for your prayers. May God be glorified!

Why Your Parents Act Like That (Part 3)

Six-year old Jill was helping her father Dave do some gardening in the front yard. She chattered away about her Sunday school lesson on Adam and Eve. Dave asked her, “Did you know Adam and Eve sinned?” Jill replied, “Yes.”“What did God do to them as a punishment?” Dave asked again. Her answer was immediate and matter-of-fact, without even looking up: “He made them have kids.” (From the illustration database of Sermon Central)

Sometimes parenting is so challenging that it seems like punishment for our sins! Let us finish the “Seven Ways to Understand Your Parents,” which I heard in “Family Matters” (a radio program hosted by Rev. Clem Guillermo and Carmen Go-Vargas aired every Monday to Friday, 9:30AM, over 702 DZAS AM). We already saw that 1) there is no parenting school; 2) our parents lived in a different world; 3) our grandparents “experimented” on our parents also; 4) our parents want to protect us from mistakes they committed in the past; 5) they have pressures, too; and 6) they l…

Why Your Parents Act Like That (Part 2)

Allow me to continue sharing the “Seven Ways to Understand Your Parents” which I heard from “Family Matters” (a radio program hosted by Rev. Clem Guillermo and Carmen Go-Vargas aired every Monday to Friday, 9:30AM, over 702 DZAS AM). We already saw that the reasons why your parents act like that are, first there is no school for parenting, second your parents were “victims,” too and third they love you so much. But they just don’t know any better.

Fourth, parents lived in a different world. Neither your world nor ours are better or worse. It depends on what areas our worldviews collide or intersect. For example, let us talk about tattoos. Mention tattoos to your parents and immediately in their minds they conjure images of hardened convicts with blue-inked tattoos covering their entire bodies. “Walking comics,” your parents called them. But for you, tattoos are just a colorful, fashion statement.

So, understand where your parents are coming from. Try listening to them. Maybe both of you…